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December 10, 2019

Have Yourself a Sober Little Christmas.

Four and a half years ago, I quit drinking.

It was a bright, sunny April day in Portland, Oregon.

I sat outside at the New Old Lompoc on Northwest 23rd with an old friend. We sipped half-stale champagne and talked about how totally epic the cherry blossoms were.

The conversation paused, and I heard a voice inside of me say, “Enough.”

By the time I finished that drink, I knew it would be my last glass of alcohol.

And it was.

Now, you’ll most likely imagine that I spent many a night up late getting blackout drunk and many a morning hungover from alcohol poisoning (hint: that’s what a hangover is, btw—you’ve been poisoned and your body is trying to get all the poison out).

Except, I was your typical social drinker—downing or, rather, luxuriously sipping two to three glasses of wine and/or champagne two to three times a week.

On the weekends, I would spice things up a bit and let myself have four glasses.

I rarely got wasted. I usually got buzzed. And I never, ever threw up from drinking (a fact I was quite proud of).

But I was regularly and consistently drinking a known and socially acceptable poison…and, well, that’s a problem.

Especially because I have an almost burning desire—that I feel right in the center of my ever-beating chest—that says I’m here to experience the highest level of spiritual enlightenment available to me in this lifetime.

So…you can understand that regularly and consistently imbibing a known poison and chucking that into my body, brain, and psyche is not going to lead me straight to enlightenment.

It might have made me feel like part of the cool-kid crowd for, roughly, two seconds (which I believe is why I even started drinking all those years ago!), but it won’t get me anywhere my soul is going to be proud of.

As an intuitive healer, it made no sense to poison myself, even if it happened long outside my working hours.

At the time, I didn’t know how long I would be free of alcohol for. I only knew that even one glass seemed horrible. To this day, the smell of wine—something I used to love—now makes me want to gag.

It’s four a half years later, and I can’t imagine my life with alcohol.

If you resonate at all with what I’ve shared or you just like to mix up your alcoholic drinks with some non-alcoholic ones, below is a list of my current favorite drinks.

These drinks are perfect to bring to your next holiday party, or to enjoy at home, around the fire or tree or menorah or your television—your choice.

You’ll find me and my husband (also sober, for five years—we quit within six months of each other, without even knowing one another, but that’s a story for another time) sipping any of these drinks in champagne glasses. Some things never do change, do they?

All of these drinks are sugar-free, too—so start adding up those healthy bonus points now.

1. Gerolsteiner sparkling mineral water

One of the highest quality sparkling waters out there (I should know, I’ve tried them all), and it comes in a glass bottle. Sustainability for the win!

2. Gerolsteiner sparkling apple drink

The beloved sister of the above sparkling goodness, my husband and I call this “apple drank” for a little SNL throwback and because it makes us laugh out loud. In truth, this is the perfect beverage for any celebratory occasion and should definitely be poured into a champagne flute. As the former poster girl for good champagne, trust me on this, I know what I’m talking about.

3. Zevia ginger root beer soda

Cut this with some sparkling water, put it on the rocks, and add a twist of lime. Also, this is perfect for root beer floats with Coconut Bliss’s Infinite Coconut not-ice cream ice cream.

4. Curious Elixirs

These are pretty tangy concoctions. You can think of it as the healthiest mocktail you’ve ever had, so I recommend doing the same here as with the Zevia. Cut it with some sparkling water, pour over the rocks, and add a squeeze of orange or lemon.

5. Live Root Beer Kombucha

This is my fave ‘buch right now. It’s #divine straight out of the bottle or poured into a wine glass. Because fancy glasses make all the difference.

6. Peppermint tea latte

This is yummilicious with coconut milk or some of the latest dairy-free half-and-halfs that are now out, like Califia Farms Almond Coconut Cream Creamer. The new release of dairy-free half-and-halfs on the market are making my life even more amazing. (Really, that’s all it takes: dairy-free half-and-half.)

7. Rasa latte

This is my new favorite winter drink. I drink it all damn day. Filled with adaptogens that calm and soothe your nervous system, along with healthy hormone-balancing herbs—you won’t even realize you’re drinking a wellness tonic. But, you are. I love this with dairy-free half-and-half, like the Forager Project’s half-and-half.

Happy not drinking, drinking, and holidays, dear ones!

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Kristian Strang  |  Contribution: 4,810

author: Kristian Strang

Image: Igor Putina / Flickr

Editor: Kelsey Michal